Recent Texas Attorney General Opinions of Interest to Cities

Note:  Included opinions are from December 13, 2016 through January 10, 2017. 

Opinion No. KP-0126 (Forfeiture Funds):  Article 59.06 of the Code of Criminal Procedure authorizes a district attorney to expend forfeiture funds solely for an official purpose of the attorney’s office, which may include expenditures for facility costs such as remodeling, renovating, and maintenance. A district attorney may expend such funds on carpet for a county-owned building to the extent it serves an authorized purpose of the attorney’s office. A district attorney need not seek permission of the commissioners court to expend forfeiture funds for such an authorized purpose, provided that the expenditure does not usurp or unreasonably interfere with the county commissioners’ authority with respect to county buildings.

Opinion No. KP-0125 (Dual Office Holding):  Because the City of Forest Hill and the Forest Hill Library District have taxation authority in overlapping territories, one individual may not simultaneously serve as a city council member and as a library district trustee. In qualifying for the second office of library district trustee, the individual effectively resigned from the office of city council.

Opinion No. KP-0123 (Attorney Rules of Professional Conduct):  A court would likely conclude that the American Bar Association’s Model Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(g) (regarding attorney misconduct due to discrimination), if adopted in Texas, would unconstitutionally restrict freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and freedom of association for members of the State Bar. In addition, a court would likely conclude that it was overbroad and void for vagueness.